Mar 1, 2008

Merle Sneed - Nuisance Terrorist

I was awaken at three this morning by someone's car alarm. Bad enough that it awakened me, but worse was that it blared on for over a half an hour. I don't know it the car's battery died or the owner was finally roused to action and turned it off, but shortly after three-thirty the wail was silenced. There really ought to be some kind of licensing exam before you can buy a car alarm. What point does a car alarm actually serve? We have become so indifferent to them that a car thief can sit behind the wheel with the siren blaring while fiddling with the ignition and no one will give him a passing glance, let alone call the police. I'm reminded of two incidents that happened in the 1970s when I was younger and more reckless. One weekend, on a Saturday morning a bell went off in the neighborhood. A really loud fire bell. It went on and on, hour after hour. Finally, I walked around the block and discovered some people standing in front of a house which had a large fire bell attached to the front. Someone said that the owners were out of town and that the fire bell had apparently malfunctioned. A call to the police had proven no help in silencing it. We considered turning off the power to the house as a way to kill the annoyance, but that would leave a fridge full of rotting food. Instead, I got the idea to use the garden house to short out the bell and stop the ringing. It worked like a charm. I figured I might be in for some repercussion for damaging or even ruing the bell, but no one ever complained to me about it. Maybe it still worked, but I never heard it again. The second incident was actually a series of incidents of the same origin. One Saturday morning a heavy flow of water began running in the gutter by our house. The flow gradually increased to a small stream throughout the morning. Finally, I walked up stream and found that it originated at a small retail center a couple of blocks away. It was runoff from the sprinkler system, which had malfunctioned and not shut off. It ran all weekend. I called our city authorities since wasting water in the desert is a serious business. Promises were made to look into the matter, but over several months it happened several more times. One Saturday in the middle of one of the deluges, I walked up to the retail center and asked someone in one of the stores for the number of the landlord, which turned out to be a local management company. All call to them produced a promise to look into the matter. Several hours later, with no slow in the flow, I called back and was told that they had checked with the tenants and had been told that the sprinklers were not on. I assured them that I had just looked and they were. The person at the management company assured me that I was full of crap. So, in my usual careful and considered way, I walked back to the location, traipsed into the running sprinklers, located the controller box which was filled with water, reached in and pulled out the wiring. The sprinklers stopped. Over the next few weeks the grass slowly died in front of the building and no seemed interested in fixing the damaged controller wiring. Problem solved. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

6 comments:

Squirrel said...

The sprinkler story really was riveting, and the ending was great. All the twists in the plot and in the end... necessary sabotage! And there was an environmental theme in there too.

and the last line? dead grass in the desert--where grass has no business being in the first place.

Great Post. I smell an award...

Squirrel said...

10 yrs ago when my current car was new, i had them remove the alarm and that 'Open /Lock' your car door from a distance feature. I am in good health and can operate a key and a door. and the feature was just annoying to me. Even on the windiest coldest days when I am lugging a 40 lb bag of acorns, I do not care about that feature.

My friend's car door froze and the EZ Open system did not work. She had to use a key, and wiggle it gently. It was a great hardship for her. Quite frustrating.

dennis said...

Dennis is trying to Free Tibet.

mr dollface said...

you're a rebel!

Steve said...

Just another example of the disconnect that occurs when someone is an absentee landlord. The problem, it seems to me, is that your city needs better enforcement.

Bob Dylan said...

Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do,